Post Op Support

Huron Valley-Sinai Hospital’s
Bariatric Surgery Post-Operative Support Groups


The SECOND Tuesday of Every Month · 6:30 PM to 7:30 PM

Next Meeting:

Tuesday, June 6, 2017 6:30 pm


Important Note: It has been a pleasure working with and coaching all of you.  I have learned so much from each and every one of you and have enjoyed getting to know you.    This month marked my 3 year anniversary as Bariatric Nurse Navigator.  I can honestly say that this role has been the most rewarding position I have had throughout my many years in nursing.   I will always be grateful to Dr. Matthew Weiner for his mentorship and allowing me to partner with him in developing a great bariatric program at Huron Valley.  The support group is a key component to our program.    I owe each of you, and every other patient who I have had the honor to work with, my gratitude for sharing your journey with me.

I am sad to say that I am leaving.  Huron Valley Sinai Hospital has been home to me for almost 19 years and I fully expected to retire from here some day.  This was not an easy decision, as I truly do love this job and am very comfortable in my role.  It was exciting and rewarding to have had the opportunity to grow the bariatric program here at Huron Valley and to achieve Certified Bariatric Nurse status and program accreditation.

After much stress and soul searching over these past couple of months, I have decided to move full-time to my home in northern MI sooner rather than later.  My mother’s failing health, and care needs for both she and my brother with Down Syndrome, are too difficult to manage from out of state and I need to relocate them to MI.  We are better able to accommodate them up north and can provide a better routine and stable life for them if I do not have to travel back and forth to work downstate. Unfortunately the bariatric program at Munson has no openings, so my career path is changing.   I have accepted a home care position through Munson Medical Center with a territory in Leelanau County where my home is.

I cannot leave without an opportunity to say goodbye in person, so support group will be next Tuesday, June 6 instead of the second Tuesday of the month in June.    My last day of work at HVSH will be Wednesday, June 7, 2017.

Congratulations on your success!   I look forward to your continued success and hope that you keep in touch with me as your journey continues…   Look for me on Facebook and let me know how you are doing!

Thank you for your support and understanding.  I will truly miss you all and hope that you will attend the meeting next Tuesday night at 6:30 pm in Sinai Medical Office Building conference room.

Thanks to those who attended the Bariatric Support Group meeting last Tuesday.    The topic we discussed was “Alcohol Consumption Following Bariatric Surgery.”   While few in the room admitted to having an issue with this prevalent problem,  I thank those who did share with the group and or with me privately.     I am attaching the powerpoint presentation and a handout to this e-mail as requested by some who were present and quite a few who were unable to attend.   Additionally, please read below this e-mail sent to me by a post-op patient who was unable to attend but wanted to share her experience with you all:



I so wish I could be there tonight to share my story. Unfortunately, I had spinal fusion surgery last week, so I’m on the mend.

Feel free to share this if you think it will help the group.

Of all the rules following bariatric surgery, this is the one I chose not to follow. Since young adulthood, I have just been a social drinker. Many years I only imbibed at our family Christmas party.

Well, last summer, after having the sleeve done in October, our new neighborhood began TGIF backyard parties. What began with a sip here and a shot there, very quickly became almost a contest to me of whether I could keep up with these 20-30 years younger couples, despite the sleeve. Boy, was I having fun!!!

The problem is, not everyone else was. I was embarrassing my adult daughter, flirting with my neighbors’ husbands, and just all around behaving badly.

I was straightforward with my family doctor about the situation and told her I had it all figured out. I knew this was hard on my liver, so had decided to do a liver detox 4 times yearly.

She wasn’t happy with that solution, and asked if I would now consider recovery. My liver enzymes were already on the rise.

I have been in recovery now since last Fall, and am not looking back. I did not lose all this weight to lose my life to alcohol!!




This patient said it well in her last sentence…..   Please ask for help if you are finding yourself in this situation.

Support group is a place where anything goes and you aren’t judged. Support groups offer a “safe place.” You can talk openly about what’s going on in your life and what you are struggling with. So many people have the same struggles. You can get great ideas and suggestions that have all worked for others. Sometimes relationships change after surgery as you change. New friends can easily be found at support group. There is something to be said about connecting with someone who is in the exact same situation you are.

You deserve to take this time for yourself 🙂 Make it your priority this month to come out…

Hope to see you then!


DMC-Sinai-HVHIn the Sinai Medical Office Building (North side of the hospital – Orchard side)
Conference Room

(building to the left of the main hospital building on the Orchard / North side of Huron Valley-Sinai Hospital)

About our surgical weight loss groups

Support group is for post-operative patients.  Once you have had your surgery, you can join the meetings.  Group members are encouraged to bring a spouse/significant other to the meeting.

 In order to best meet the needs of our post-surgical patients,
these support group meetings are NOT appropriate for children,
non-surgical weight loss patients or those who are considering weight loss
surgery but who have not completed their pre-operative workup.

Led by Huron Valley-Sinai Hospital’s Bariatric Nurse Navigator, our meetings are educational in nature, but there is always time for open discussion. Educational topics vary each month – from nutrition, holiday eating & exercise to various topics presented by psychologists & other healthcare providers.

The time of the meeting is meant to accommodate the most people – those who work, who drive an hour to attend, those with children that need help with homework and those little ones that need to be tucked in at night.  We also heard from those of you who aren’t likely to go back out once you get home after work.   If this is your mealtime, please feel free to bring a healthy snack.

Laura Kern, RN, BSN (Bariatric Nurse Navigator) at Huron Valley-Sinai Hospital can be contacted with questions at 248.937.3732 or

Reminder to all:   You should be seeing your surgeon minimally at one week, 6 months, one year and annually for five years following bariatric surgery.   Please call and make an appointment if you are due or past due and do not already have an appointment!